You know pasta e fagioli as a hearty soup that stars the tiny pasta tubes called ditalini and creamy white beans, perfect for chilly nights. But there’s no reason to “table” this great combination when you can give it a summery twist: a salad composed of all its delicious ingredients, plus a sweet-tart vinaigrette great for all kinds of salads. If you can’t find ditalini, you can use any small-sized pasta—the idea is to get a variety close to the size of the beans. For another layer of flavor, top with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar of Modena
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked cannellini beans or one 29-ounce can, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups cooked pasta, such as ditalini
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium red onion, slivered
- 2 tablespoons each chopped fresh parsley and basil, plus more for garnish
Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the two vinegars, mustard, honey, salt, and garlic. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place the beans, pasta, tomatoes, red onion, and herbs in a large glass bowl and pour on the vinaigrette. Toss gently to coat. Serve at room temperature or chilled, garnished with more herbs.
Yields 6 generous servings